I read today in the Honolulu newspaper about a groundbreaking new idea. Pretty hospital rooms.
How this all came about is that in Princeton the hospital needed new digs. So they had a designer do a sample room to test it out.

By adding color (soft gold) to the walls and blanket, a pretty painting on the wall, a window with an outdoor view, and a more pleasing bathroom, this is what was discovered.

The patients in these rooms thought the food and service was a 90, while the patients in the ‘old’ rooms thought it was a 60, even though it was really the same.
But here is the truly amazing part: the patients in these redone rooms had a 30% less need for pain medication.

I can certainly relate to this. In the past four years I have been hospitalized in four different hospitals (one twice). All of the rooms were drab white and totally without character or charm in any way.

And pain medication is the highlight of your day.

I do remember one hospital I was in. The room had a twelve inch wallpaper border around the ceiling. It had stripes in dark moss green and black  (such a cheerful combo) and I would stare at and count them, as something to do. Otherwise, there was no other ‘decor’.

When I have gone to the hospital near my home, I have taken personal items to ‘doctor’ up my surroundings to my taste. First of all, my leopard throw. The hospital blankets are like thick cotton sheets, and this adds a lot of cheer to the room.

And my own pillow(s). Hospital ones are covered in plastic and they are horrible. Pretty pillow cases that are not white are a must. The white hospital ones are depressing.

I also pack a nice makeup kit and each morning I put on full makeup and perfume. (Don’t forget the makeup remover wipes and some night cream).

Besides making me feel better, it is fun to see the nurses faces when they come in to my room. Rather than see a haggard looking patient, they see someone who is ‘trying’ to look and feel better.

They also seem to feel better (and stay a little longer) in a pretty room that smells good too.

I do remember something that I thought was a very clever way to alleviate anxiety in a patient. When I was twenty, and having my first baby, going to the ObGyn was traumatic at times. Dr. Lambert at Straub clinic did his best to calm down his patients.

Over his examining table, while your legs were in iron stirrups, if you looked up, there was a beautiful mobile of butterflies dancing and immediately your mind left where you were, to a much happier place.

I bet simply the addition of a cheerful mobile to a hospital room, would have a positive effect on the patient’s attitude.

 

 

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